Inequality, Redistribution, and Population

56 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2008

See all articles by Filipe R. Campante

Filipe R. Campante

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Quoc-Anh Do

Sciences Po - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

We document a negative relationship between population size and inequality in the cross-country data. We propose an explanation built on the existence of a size effect in the political economy of redistribution, particularly in the presence of different channels of popular request for redistribution, e.g. "institutional" channels and "revolutions". Based on the assumption that the threat of revolution is directly related to the number of people that may attempt to revolt, the theory predicts that the stylized fact initially uncovered by the paper can be refined as follows: there is a negative relationship between population size, and its geographical concentration, and post-tax inequality in non-democracies. We subject these predictions to extensive empirical scrutiny in a cross-country context, and the data robustly confirm these patterns of inequality, population, and the interaction with democracy.

Keywords: Inequality, Redistribution, Population Size, Population Density, Population Concentration, Revolutions, Economics ¿ Macroeconomics, International Development

JEL Classification: D31, D63, D74, J19

Suggested Citation

Campante, Filipe R. and Do, Quoc-Anh, Inequality, Redistribution, and Population (October 2007). KSG Working Paper No. RWP07-046. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1083714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1083714

Filipe R. Campante (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7958 (Phone)

Quoc-Anh Do

Sciences Po - Department of Economics ( email )

28 rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, 75007
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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